Most of Central Florida withdraws water from the Floridian Aquifer by means of deep wells. The water that comes from both the inland fresh water wells and the coastal saline wells is typically high in total dissolved solids (TDS) and chlorides. Both the fresh water and saline water supplies usually contain elevated hydrogen sulfide concentrations. Indian River County is a coastal community on the East Coast of Central Florida, with Vero Beach its largest city and county seat. The county owns and operates two reverse osmosis (RO) plants and wanted to reduce construction and operating costs for these facilities while effectively removing hydrogen sulfide.
The county's two RO water production plants blend finished product water with raw water between a 3:1 and 4:1 ratio. The plants' combined finished water is stripped of hydrogen sulfide by forced draft aerators. The off-gas discharge of hydrogen sulfide has resulted in numerous odor complaints from area neighbors.